So how do we do this? If it’s a totally new world, we have to describe it well enough that readers will feel they exist in the same realm.
I wrote a futuristic otherworld existence for one story—based on the premise that book stores are important. Someone had asked for short stories using the idea, but this was way before ebook technology. I wrote the story, was promptly rejected—didn’t want romance and was told that this was by invitation only—so why it was on the Web for everyone to submit to, I haven’t any idea. I loved the characters and the premise of the story and turned it into a novel. I’m still revising.Can you have a dragon brother and a panther sister?
In my current works, I try to make them as realistic as possible. My werewolves are based on real wolves. They live in packs or as lone wolves using real wolf dynamics. Yet they aren’t real wolves. They’re humans who shift into wolves. So they have the human aspect also. They aren’t strictly humans either as they have their own wolfish personalities. They are one with their two halves and the two halves make them whole.There are exceptions to every rule. So though the norm is one way—wolves mate for life—there are exceptions. Some wolves do take another mate if theirs dies. One male had two female wolves for his mates. Because there are exceptions in the real world, I use that to make exceptions in my world.
For the wolf tales, I’ve used some true wolf stories, research houses that I think will be perfect for the homes they live in, the perfect kitchen, the perfect den, the perfect ocean view, lake, island, etc. I learn the kind of plants, woods, terrain that are in the area. Researching weather can help to make the story more realistic, and makes it easier if you’re trying to set up a situation that turns out not to be viable because the weather wouldn’t cooperate. I make up towns sometimes when I want to instead of using an existing one.
In the new jaguar series, I started the first of the stories in the Amazon jungle. That’s where the big cats are. So I wanted the jungle feel to the story. Not humans running around purring and what not. I wanted to show they had real bite.
Setting can be really important to help create your world. Even though the stories focus on character as well as plot, I always have to think of how I can make the story as real as possible, and creating a scenario where jaguars are running around NYC would be hard to do—for my kind of cats. It doesn’t mean they don’t exist. But that I’d have to come up with a reasonable explanation of how they’d get around the city if they had the urge to shift.
Some authors have worlds where their were-creatures coexist with the human population. Instead of the secretiveness that my world requires, their worlds are more based on the prejudices of were-creatures trying to live with humans.
No matter what kind of world we create—vampires, psychics, ghosts, time-travel, were-creatures, we have to have conflict. Conflict is what makes the story riveting to read.
So back to my earlier futuristic world. I have were-animals in that “book-stores-are-important” story (who knows now, eh?)—the panther and a dragon shifter, sister and brother. How in the world did I come up with that? I don’t know. I just liked the idea. The story is full of adventure, world-building, mystery, fighting, loving, you know, all that good stuff. But essential to the story is character and plot and world-building.
We can do anything we set our minds to do if we have a good enough reason for it. Any world that we set up can work if we know why we’re doing it that way. If we know the backstory, how they existed before this, what motivates them, what their goals are and why, we can make it work.
Creating the characters that fit with the otherworldly part of them, creating the world that does too, it has to seem real, no matter how far out it is.
In my wolf stories, which were first? Red werewolves or gray? The debate goes on.
In my jaguar-shifter story, how did the shifters’ family become jaguar shifters? How far back in the family tree? How do jaguar-shifters come to be?
I haven’t answered all these questions. Sometimes leaving some of the mystery in the story gives you the opportunity to create scenarios in new books that you wouldn’t be able to if you’d already locked yourself into the world.
Except when you make exceptions. There are always exceptions. You just have to come up with a plausible enough reason why.
The key to making any kind of a world that isn’t of the norm, or even when it is, is to make YOUR story unique. What editors will ask you is—what else is on the market like this? Is your story unique enough? BE the trendsetter.
I was reading a book by one author who talked about a character who is a were-rat. Okay. My former manager wants me to write about a were-sea otter. We can do anything we set our minds to do if we have proper motivation. Just remember your potential audience. Will you have enough readers who are interested in a sexy were-rat of a man?
Hey, zombie romance exists now!
The key to success is to make your world unique, set some standards and stick by them, unless there’s an exception, and create a world your readers can believe in. Make characters that your readers will love, enough conflict to keep them reading, goals and motivation to make the story plausible, and the world is yours to create.
If your poor witch, or zombie, or were-creature isn’t interesting agents and editors, come join me in a workshop on Rejection! Rejection! Rejection! And how to deal with it.
The wolves….A SEAL IN WOLF’S CLOTHING, March 6, 2012
Her instincts tell her he's dangerous...While her overprotective brother's away, Meara Greymere's planning to play—and it wouldn't hurt to find herself a mate in the process. The last thing she needs is one of his SEAL buddies spoiling her fun, even if the guy is the hottest one she's ever seen...
His powers of persuasion are impossible to resist...Finn Emerson is a battle-hardened Navy SEAL and alpha wolf. He's a little overqualified for baby-sitting, but feisty Meara is attracting trouble like a magnet...
The jaguars….SAVAGE HUNGER, October 1, 2012
Kathleen McKnight is on a dangerous mission to help her army team take down a drug lord. She's a tough as nails recruit, but when she's caught in the crossfire, she has to rely on a mysterious man to save her. She has no idea that he has big plans for her...
Connor Anderson is a jaguar shifter who is looking for his mate. When he rescues Kathleen in the jungle-twice—he can't help but be intrigued. Will a bite or a scratch turn Kathleen into the perfect jaguar mate?
I hope you will join my class
How to Deal with Rejection
Do What You Love Most-Write!
Fantasy-Futuristic & Paranormal
This 2 WEEK class starts September 10th
For more information click HERE
ABOUT THE AUTHOR, Terry Spear
USA Today bestselling author, Terry Spear has written over three dozen paranormal romance novels and two medieval Highland historical romances. An award-winning author, Terry’s Heart of the Wolf was named a Publishers Weekly’s Best Book of the Year in 2008. A retired lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Army Reserves, Terry Spear spends every spare moment writing paranormal romance as well as historical and true life stories for both teen and adult audiences. Spear lives in Crawford, Texas, where she is working on her second book in the jaguar shifter series! For more information, please visit: